It's the 6th post, a good time for zombies. We'll get to the vampires later. Maybe.
White Zombie (1932, directed by Vic Halperin) is a tale of Caribbean voodoo starring Bela Lugosi and Madge Bellamy. Considered to be the first zombie picture, there's not a whole lot to the plot beyond the photo caption above. Still, I found the movie to be really interesting, mostly because of moody and foreboding visuals and the mystifying movements of Bela Lugosi's outrageous eyebrows - does anyone else find him more hilarious than frightening? Just so no one who is interested in blood-smacking action wastes their time (that is if I had any readers), there is no blood, gore or brain-eating in this movie.
I learned a lot from the research here, having previously been owner of all the voodoo-related misconceptions: blood sacrifices, the undead, spirits, malice, witch doctors, dolls, potions, etc. These can be part of the belief set, but isn't where vodou starts. Contrary to the usual stereotype, vodou isn't considered as a religion, but rather a set of beliefs that can be compatible with other religions. Many practicing Catholics in Haiti also hold on to their traditional beliefs. The practice of voodoo has its roots in African spirit-worship and religion brought over by the slaves. In 1804, Haiti became the first black republic, winning freedom from France and developing from then on along its own course, including gaining some individuality in the way voodoo was practiced.
|A Lugosi sampler.|
Witch Doctors or Bokor
Bokor are considered sorcerers who practice both white and black magic and are able to create zombies and call on spirits. The typical zombie creation process of a bokor is presumed in myth to involve a potion with the pufferfish poison (a type of tetrodotoxin). Bokors are chosen at birth.
If You Meet A Zombie...
If you meet a zombie, give it salt to turn it back to the grave. (At least that's my mother's advice.)
|The moody visuals of White Zombie.|
Traveling Haiti: Haitian Voodoo
National Geographic: Haiti Earthquake & Voodoo
American Museum of Natural History: Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou
A link to the band. Listened to their first album countless times, and had no idea what they were named for: White Zombie VEVO